The Berkeley Police Department regularly releases cases of community interest, which include incidents that involve violence or weapons or that people in the city have asked about. In 2018, BPD handled about 73,000 incidents and made more than 2,000 arrests. Every month, there are more than 300 Part 1 crimes in Berkeley. Most Part 1 crimes, which are the categories tracked by the FBI, are serious felonies. Arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.
STUDENT ROBBERIES Two groups of UC Berkeley students were robbed early Thursday morning by armed robbers with guns, police have reported. At this point, BPD does not think the robberies are related, said Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White. The University of California Police Department released statements Thursday about the cases. Details from both law enforcement agencies appear below.
At 12:30 a.m., four male UC Berkeley students, ages 18-19, were walking in the 2700 block of Channing Way (near College Avenue in front of the Delta Chi fraternity) when a red Dodge pulled up to them. Three people with guns got out of the car and demanded their property. The robbers took backpacks and phones from the students, then drove away, heading west on Channing. Witnesses described the robbers as a black man in his 20s with a “medium or chubby” build, dreadlocks and a black beanie cap; a black man in his 20s with a thin build; and a black male (no age listed) wearing dark clothing.
At 1:43 a.m., three male UC Berkeley students, ages 19-21, were walking in the 2900 block of Dwight Way (near Stadium Rim Way and north of the Clark Kerr Campus) when a “black sedan type vehicle” pulled up. Two people with guns got out of the car and “surrounded” the group, police said. They demanded their property, then took their bags and phones. They were described as a black male (no age listed) about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a “hefty” build and short dreadlocks in a gray hooded sweatshirt, and a black man in his 20s, 5 feet 11, with a skinny build wearing a black mask.
GUN-RELATED ARRESTS DURING CAR STOPS IN SOUTH AND WEST BERKELEY
DRIVER CHARGED WITH GUN VIOLATIONS Police made two arrests late Monday night that resulted in the discovery of loaded guns during vehicle searches.
In one of the stops, at 11:22 p.m., police stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation at Harmon and Adeline streets. “While speaking with the driver, the officer discovered that the vehicle had false 2019 vehicle registration,” police spokesman White said. “When the officer searched the vehicle, the officer found a loaded handgun wedged between the driver’s seat and front console.”
Police arrested the driver, James Jereldale West, 28, of Oakland on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying an unregistered firearm and having false vehicle registration. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged West on Tuesday with carrying a concealed firearm with a vehicle, which is a felony, with a special allegation of concealing the firearm; and carrying a loaded firearm in a city, which is a misdemeanor, with a special allegation that the firearm was not registered. West is no longer in custody, according to online records from the sheriff’s office.
DRIVER FOUND WITH LOADED GUN, HEROIN AND OTHER DRUGS Minutes before the car stop noted above, two officers on patrol together stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation at San Pablo and Alcatraz avenues. Police searched the driver and vehicle and found “a loaded handgun along with 65+ grams of crack cocaine, 8+ grams of base cocaine, 3+ grams of powdered heroin, 2+ grams of black tar heroin, 7+ grams of methamphetamine, 31+ grams of marijuana, two digital scales and over $1000 cash,” according to White. BPD later learned the gun had been reported stolen in San Diego.
Police arrested the driver, Patrick Antwain Hawkins, 52, of Richmond on suspicion of being a convicted felon with a firearm, being a convicted felon with ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of stolen property and multiple narcotics-related offenses, according to BPD.
Police then sought a search warrant for Hawkins’ home and found “an additional 188 grams of crack cocaine, 73 grams of base cocaine, 83 grams of Heroin, more ammunition and cash,” police said. They also found a “book” (shown in the photo at the top of the story) “a fake book with a hidden safe inside.”
“This is an excellent example of how the diligent work of patrol officers can pay off in a big way to bring positive change to our community,” White said in a prepared statement.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Hawkins on Thursday with nine felonies related to drug sales and the firearm. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, with a bail of $500,000, and is set for a pretrial hearing Tuesday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.
LAPTOP THEFT A teenager grabbed a laptop Wednesday from a 29-year-old woman sitting inside Starbucks at 2224 Shattuck Ave. (at Shattuck Cinemas). The woman was sitting near the front door using her computer when someone came inside, reached over the railing and tried to grab the computer. “The woman struggled to hold onto her laptop” but the young man “was able to wrestle it away from her,” police said. Then he ran south on Shattuck with an associate. Police described the first thief as a black male, 14-17 years old, about 5’4”-5’7” tall, with a thin build, short hair, wearing a gray hooded top, an “Army”-colored jacket and light blue jeans. The other person was described as a black male, about 6 feet 1 inch tall, with a muscular build, wearing a white hooded top and dark jeans.